I’m starting to wonder if I’d prefer to live vicariously through the Internet. I’ve been feeling kind of crestfallen today — rather, since we missed our flight to Barcelona last night. It was mostly a problem because our plans put us back in Paris, and we immediately decided continuing on to the next flight (this evening) wasn’t worth the effort. We had to find another way to fly back — we ended up both transferring our flights to British airports. I’m flying out of Gatwick on Saturday.

It’s not necessarily that I think I am bad at traveling. I think that it is enjoyable when done correctly and I think it’s hard for anyone who has enjoyed themselves on a trip to say they don’t like it. I kind of feel like I did this trip incorrectly though. For one thing I have reached a point in my life where I spend most of my time by myself. Right now I am freaking out a little bit, to tell you the truth, because all I have done over the past week has been with other people. My quiet reflection time is absent. Though I did appreciate the ride to London via Eurostar and our visit to Centre Pompidou in Paris, both of which I enjoyed wrapped up in my own thoughts and stimulated by things that are unique to the places we were.

Of course missing the flight to Barcelona had as much to do with Ryanair being a bunch of wankers and the London rail system being less than spectacular about being timely. There wasn’t much we could have done. We left downtown London for Luton Airport three hours early. It is a big bummer, though, and it’s been stressful trying to figure out how to get home since Capital One decided to put a hold on my credit card, and doesn’t seem interested in unlocking it even though I called them. Time has been another stress factor lately, too. I hate thinking about time because it makes no sense, and time-zone hopping and keeping to schedules has been a big part of this trip, which freaks me out.

I regret not being able to go back to Paris tomorrow. Katie and I had plans to visit the Bibliotheque Nationale and see one of their special exhibitions and maybe grab a drink before I head out Saturday. I’m pretty disappointed I won’t be making it and I definitely blame Ryanair for that. Of course I also think we probably bit off more than we could chew with this trip going so fast and all. I am also pissed about missing an opportunity to be alone in Paris, if only for a night.

On the other hand I kind of wonder if to a certain extent I like living these adventures vicariously through the Internet. Or perhaps having other, different adventures on the Internet. I’ve spent the last couple days thinking about the dearth of wireless connections (especially free ones) in Europe and reading some good material about collective intelligence in alternate reality gaming. This is where I want to be — nowhere, I guess. Weird, right?

It’s not like I haven’t enjoyed my trip so far, because I have. I’m always thrilled to do new things, meet new people, and explore places. I have some new Parisian friends. I am very proud of myself for teaching myself the Paris metro system via the throw-the-baby-in-the-pool method. Windsor Castle today reminded me how much I love history. I’ve sampled some delicious English bitters that you can’t get anywhere else in the world. But I want to spend my time in this peculiar nowhere place that is the Internet. I can’t explain it.

I guess they say that part of the charm of traveling is coming back and appreciating what you have at home. While I don’t feel that kind of connection to physical spaces, I will say that one thing I appreciate deeply about having a home is being at liberty to carve out your own space on the Internet. Physical space has become less important to me. I’ve never been the type for photographing the places I go, and maybe that’s a problem because my memory behaves in peculiar ways. But at the same time, showing proof of going places or doing things has never been essential to me. I feel like this disconnected self I find on the Internet is sort of like that — here, I am free to move about the world, spatially and temporally.

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